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When you’re covered by ACC, and when you’re not

Injuries caused by medical treatment: “Treatment injuries”

Accident Compensation Act 2001, ss 32, 33 Case: Accident Compensation Corporation v Robertson [2011] NZACC 327

You’re covered by ACC if you suffer an injury while getting medical treatment from a doctor or other health professional. The cover doesn’t include things that are a necessary part or ordinary consequence of the treatment. You’ll also be covered if the medical staff failed to give you medical treatment when you needed it. There are some exceptions to this, for example if a health professional failed to diagnose a condition earlier, you won’t be covered if earlier treatment would not have changed the outcome.

You don’t have to show that the doctor or other health professional made a mistake when they treated you.

If you get an infection as a result of a treatment injury, and you pass that infection directly to someone else (for example, your partner or child), that person could also be covered by ACC for that infection.

You won’t be covered if your injury was mostly caused by an underlying health condition, or by you unreasonably withholding or delaying your consent to treatment. You also won’t be covered if your injury was caused by a lack of medical services as a result of resourcing decisions made in the health sector – for example, if a hospital emergency department has been closed down.

Am I covered if I get an injury or reaction caused by a vaccination?

Physical injury resulting from a vaccination, including the COVID-19 vaccine, may be covered if you meet the criteria for a “treatment injury”. The injury has to be clearly caused by the vaccination and not just be an ordinary consequence of the treatment.

For example, an ordinary consequence of a vaccination would be inflammation and pain around the site of the injection, flu-like symptoms or fatigue and is unlikely to be covered. Infections (such as cellulitis or septic arthritis) due to the vaccination resulting in injury are not ordinary consequences and are likely to be covered, if you can prove the injury was a direct cause of the vaccine.

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Accident compensation (ACC)

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Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)

ACC’s website provides information to help you navigate the ACC system. It includes information on the claims process, possible entitlements and how to resolve an issue with ACC.

Website: www.acc.co.nz

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Phone: 04 816 7400
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Way Finders

Way Finders is a free nationwide independent service that can provide you with general or specific advice about ACC and help you navigate the system.

Website: www.wayfinders.org.nz 
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Phone: 0800 273 030

Talk Meet Resolve (TMR)

Talk Meet Resolve is a free independent nationwide service that can assist you in resolving your dispute with ACC.

Website: www.talkmeetresolve.co.nz
Email: info@talkmeetresolve.co.nz
Phone: 0800 119 221

Complete the webform: www.talkmeetresolve.co.nz/contact

Medical Council of NZ

The Medical Council of New Zealand is responsible for ensuring doctors are competent and fit to practise. The website contains a register of practising doctors.

Website: www.mcnz.org.nz

Health and Disability Commissioner

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Website: www.hdc.org.nz
Email: hdc@hdc.co.nz
Phone: 0800 119 221

To make a complaint online: www.hdc.org.nz/making-a-complaint/make-a-complaint-to-hdc

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Website: www.privacy.org.nz
Email: enquiries@privacy.org.nz
Phone: 0800 803 909

To make a complaint online: www.privacy.org.nz/your-rights/making-a-complaint

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